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D’Ambra discusses patronage on different social levels, from that of the emperor and his court to those of shopkeepers and of artisans, in diverse regions of the empire and in distinct ethnic groups. She compares the imagery of the state and of military victory with the humblest funerary reliefs. Many provincial artworks were based on imperial models, but others were created in resistance to prevailing imperial standards. D’Ambra draws on a range of sculptures, wall paintings, decorative arts, coins and architecture, from Italy to the edges of the empire, evoking the traditionalism and the adaptability of Roman art. She also looks ahead to the art and architecture of the fourth century AD, which despite the emergence of Christianity as the dominant religion continued to be influenced by Roman styles and themes.